Press body denounces sentencing of two Ivorian journalists

Abidjan- Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) -- An international body defending press freedom, Reporters without Frontiers (RSF), Monday denounced the sentencing of two Ivorian journalists to three months of imprisonment for libel.
In a letter to the Ivorian Communication minister Lia Bi Douyoua, RSF protested against the sentencing of Meite Sindou and Patrice Lenonhin, respectively editor-in-chief and publisher of "Le Patriote.
" RSF urged that ruling be stayed and the charges against the journalists dropped.
"The sentence is disproportionate to the prejudice caused," RSF Secretary General, Robert Menard wrote.
According RSF, Meite Sindou and Patrice Lenonhin were sentenced in absentia on 8 May to three months imprisonment and to a fine of 100,000 CFA francs (1 Dollar = 700 FCFA for an article published in June last year implicating the President of the Ivorian Human Rights League, Martin Bleou.
The article reported of a bank transfer on an account in Switzerland on behalf of the President of the League, to the tune of 104,737,900 CFAF.
RSF expressed concern about the fact that neither Meite Sindou nor Patrice Lenonhin or their lawyers had been invited to appear at the trial.

14 may 2001 21:44:00

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